Rimalev; The Seventh House

The film begins when Will Kahane visits his Aunt Manya in the Bronx and begins to ask questions about the town where he was born and the "Rimalev Society" in America. He gets the opportunity to go with a group of Holocaust Survivors on a trip to the Skalat area, where they are going to dedicate a
memorial on a mass grave site. He attends the memorial ceremony in Skallat but it doesn't turn out exactly as the survivors planned, as the local Ukrainian Catholic Church has their own ideas about the way it should be conducted.
The filmmaker takes a side trip to nearby Rimalev, his birthplace, with a local Jewish guide, to look for the house where he was born as the grandson of the seventh son in that same house. The Kahane family lived in Rimalev since at least 1648. Kahane's father was born in this same house and so was his grandfather, a seventh son, his greatfather, etc.. The house was the seventh house to be built in the town. it was built by his family many generations ago. Kahane was born there on Sept. 7, 1945, soon after the war ended. He was the first and last Jewish child to be born in Rimalev after the war, and the last member of his family ever to be born in Rimalev, breaking the long line of the Kahane family in that "Shtetle". His goal is to find this house, if still standing, and see it for the first time since being taken by his parents, in December 1945, to a DP Camp in Germany at the age of three months.
The survivor group visits Lvov, the capitol of the region, and meet a black-robed monk in their hotel restaurant who is visiting from Chicago, and he explains that he is a member of the Studite order of the Ukrainian Uniate Church, and knew the story of Kahane's great-uncle, Rabbi David Kahane, who was hidden by the controversial Ukrainian Archbishop of Lvov, Andrei Sheptytski, the head of their order, who also saved a number of other Jews in his monasteries and his palace. This priest takes them to the monastery where the Rabbi was hidden for a time during the War. Kahane published his Great Uncle David's book, "The Lvov Ghetto Diary", in English in America, and since the trip, also in Ukrainian.

  • Will Kahane
  • Nancy Kahane
  • Will Kahane
  • Nancy Kahane
  • Will Kahane
    Yiddish translations
  • Will Kahane
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short
  • Runtime:
    30 minutes 20 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    January 1, 2015
  • Production Budget:
    2,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
    English, Russian, Ukrainian
  • Shooting Format:
    digital miniDV tape
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Will Kahane

Will Kahane is married to Nancy and has five children and lives in Ventnor NJ. He graduated from Rutgers University in New Brunswick with a BA in English Literature, and an MA from Stockton College in Holocaust and Genocide Studies. He attended film and television courses at NYU. He worked in TV production at WDCA TV in Washington. He attended the US Army Motion Picture Television Production School at Ft Monmouth, NJ and served as a Motion Picture TV Officer at the US Army Photo Agency in The Pentagon and also served in Vietnam. He was the campaign cinematographer for the Hubert Humphrey Presidential Primary Campaign against George McGovern and filmed the presidential primary campaign for candidate, Vice President Hubert Humphrey. He was Audio Visual Director of Jack Morton Productions in Washington DC. Producing films and multi-image shows for a variety of clients including the Bnai Brith Women, The National Federation of Republican Women, National Automobile Dealers, etc.. He received the Cine Eagle for his documentary film “Alfredo Halegua Sculptor” and was nominated for an Emmy Award for his cinematography on local news coverage in Wash DC. He has directed and produced the holocaust-related documentaries, “Auschwitz Memories”, “The Seventh House”, and “Lest We Forget” shown at film festivals nationally and internationally. He is currently affected with pancreatic cancer, as a result of Agent Orange exposure in Vietnam, and for which there is no known cure.

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Director Statement

It is my goal to have my great Uncle's book, "The Lvov Ghetto Diary," distributed widely in Ukraine, especially to young Ukrainians. It is the first Jewish Holocaust memoir ever published in Ukrainian in Ukraine since WWII. Ukrainians, unlike Germans, have not yet been made to face their history and take responsibility for what their nation has done to it's Jewish citizens. I am still working on this goal with the help of the Center For Jewish Education in Kiev, where the book was originally translated and is now available in limited quantities in paperback. I would like to epublish it in Ukrainian in that country. I would also like to see the book made into a Ukrainian film.